It is a tradition most small people relish – making their annual Christmas lists. My kids always manage to come up with the most interesting collection of items I can easily find, plus a few that leave me wondering when they became teenagers (they aren’t). While I can almost always narrow down the lists and leave the items I know they will love most under the tree, it’s their stockings that get me every year. How do I fill it with worthwhile items – something other than candy and knick-knacks – and maybe even some items that are good for them?
This year I’m planning ahead and aiming high – I’ve gathered a list of items that not only do I think the kids will love, but will make them smarter to boot. How is that for a gift that keeps on giving?
This is a modern day Rubik’s Cube. The brightly colored tiles slide both circularly and vertically with one space left open for strategic placement. The goal is to solve the puzzle by matching colors. It is interactive play at its best as it works to help your child enhance their problem solving skills and their space perception. ($15 or $13.50 if you are a member of the Museum of Modern Art.)
This is perfect for the child just learning to understand their sense of direction. It can easily be clipped on to a backpack for day-to-day use or used for weekend activities outside any time of year. As it adjusts, your little one will learn if school is north of their home, if they need to walk south to a friend’s home and even if their regular dog-walk takes them in multiple directions. ($3.95)
National Geographic Magazine
This is one that I remember loving as a child. What a treasure to open your child’s eyes to the world around them – from the wonders of Ancient Egypt to decoding wolves, and learning about baby pandas. Additionally, encouraging a love of reading in your child is always a bonus. (A year’s subscription is $15.)
Solar System Erasers
How much fun are these? A set of eight erasers shaped like the planets and include Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Earth, Venus and Mercury. This collection is ideal for either school or home and perfect for any child who has ever spent any time staring at the stars and wondering what more exists beyond our world. ($9.55)
Brain Quest Kindergarten
Yes, it is absolutely fun to be smart and this series proves it. With 300 questions your kids will have fun (and so will you) flipping quickly through the pages and answering one question after another. Brain Quest has long been loved by kids, parents and teachers alike for its ability to match your child’s age and keep them interested in learning. There are options available for older children as well. (Less than $10)
There you have it! Choose one or a few from this list and know that you have made your child’s holiday both brighter and smarter.
This post is sponsored by Flik Flak.